In an effort to provide children with wholesome, biblical content in a digital age rife with harmful online material, Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) has announced the release of a new animated series titled “Esther,” inspired by the biblical book of Esther.
The five-part “Esther” series, which premiered on Jan. 6 with the episode “Once Upon a Time in Persia,” focuses on themes such as faith, courage, prayer, grace and providence. Each episode aims to instill biblical values and principles in young viewers, according to a press release sent to The Christian Post.
The series also complements the “God Protects His People: The Life of Esther” Good News Club series from CEF Press. It’s the latest offering on CEF’s U-Nite TV Series, which unites kids with the Gospel through streaming animated adventures, songs, missionary stories and more.
“More than ever, children are exposed to immoral content on social media, in advertising and on many internet platforms,” said CEF Director of Digital Ministries Andrew York. ‘“Esther’ gives parents the confidence to know that their children are watching wholesome, entertaining programming with a biblical message.”
Statistics from meeting platform firm Zipdo highlight the urgency of this initiative: findings show that 27% of children between 7 and 17 years old have encountered harmful content online, and about 41% of people have experienced negative outcomes due to their online presence. Additionally, 95% of 3- to 4-year-olds access the internet for an average of eight hours per week.
Barna Research supports the potential positive impact of such media, noting that children engaged with digital technology are more likely to interact with the Bible through apps, audio or video.
Founded 87 years ago, CEF has a long history of reaching children worldwide with the Gospel. In 2022 alone, over 19.5 million children heard the Good News through CEF’s ministries, and more than 439,000 teachers were trained globally.
In a recent interview with The Christian Post, CEF Executive Vice President Moises Esteves said the international nonprofit ministry has been unwavering in its mission since 1937: ensuring every child is reached with the Gospel, spiritually nurtured and integrated into a local church.
“The structure is in place, the boots are on the ground to grow this ministry exponentially. And we have strict strategies, like children reaching children, which is teaching older, more mature children to evangelize their peers. It’s a beautiful training that we’re accelerating in the coming years,” he said.
“Children need the hope of the Gospel, they need the hope that God can give into their lives,” he said. “There’s a great need for the Gospel. The doors are open, and we just need more believers to get on board. Let’s reach children for Christ while they’re young, while their hearts are open, because as they grow up, the backpack of sin begins to be heavy, and hearts begin to harden.”
In recent years, faith-based media has seen increasing success in mainstream markets, indicating a growing interest and availability of such content.
Recently, Minno, Slingshot Productions, Sunrise Animation Studios and Angel Studios rolled out the original animated episodic five-part series “Young David.” The series aims to give viewers a glimpse into King David’s early years and explores the many facets that made him a man after God’s own heart.
Last year, The Daily Wire’s new children’s show app Bentkey released “A Wonderful Day with Mabel Maclay,” which follows Mabel, a cheerful redhead, as she helps children create, explore and think critically about the world around them.
Creators Katy and Ryan Chase, devout Christians, told CP they were inspired to develop the show after becoming discouraged by the media options available for young children.
“We felt really inspired to find a solution to this problem,” Katy, who plays Mabel, said.
“We’ll turn off a show in the limited amount of time our kids have seen modern kids’ content, and they truly have flushed cheeks, dilated eyes, and crazy behavior; they don’t want to turn it off. They’ve obviously been so hyperstimulated by the content. But when we show them older things, the ways shows used to feel, they don’t have that reaction. We thought, let’s make a modern take on that stuff; it’s so good. That’s what we’ve set out to do.”
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: [email protected]
Originally published on The Christian Post
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